ASL-STEM Forum: A Bottom-Up Approach to Enabling American Sign Language to Grow in STEM Fields

AAAI Conferences 

Deaf and hard of hearing students studying advanced topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) lack standard terminology to enable them to learn, discuss and contribute to their chosen fields. The ASL-STEM Forum enables the diverse, thinly-spread groups that are independently creating and using terminology to come together using a community-based, video-enabled web resource. A common vocabulary would provide interpreters with consistent terminology and enable deaf scientists to more easily converse from a common basis. This paper discusses the implementation of the ASL-STEM Forum, describes our approach to building a community using the site, and overviews the unique opportunities it offers for observing a language developing from the bottom-up.